General data :
The White City
Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, is located 1,024 km. (640 miles) south of Lima. It was founded in 1540 and is one of the country’s most attractive cities. Full of colonial churches and mansions, including Santa Catalina, a restored convent established in 1579 and now open to the public after being closed for 400 years, Arequipa is known as the White City because much of it is build of ashlar, the smooth white building stone carved from volcanic lava quarries.
Three volcanoes dominate the skyline: Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu. North of Arequipa lies the spectacular Colca Valley, a picturesque andean valley dotted with towns founded in colonial times.
The canyon is one of the deepest in the world and home of the majestic condor. Arequipa’s mild climate and altitude (2,300 meter above sea level – 7,500 ft.) make in the perfect place to acclimatize before continuing the trip to Cusco or Puno.